Press Releases

SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban

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Media Release - 18 December 2014


The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use of glueboard traps in New Zealand.

Glueboard traps are boards with a sticky glue layer that are used to capture and hold live rodents. The SPCA considers the level of pain or distress caused to animals trapped on glueboards to be unreasonable and says that adequate alternatives are available.

“Once captured on a glue board, an animal is unable to free itself from the adhesive, and will generally bring more body parts into contact with the adhesive as it attempts to free itself. In doing so the animal will tend to further entrap itself,” says Ric Odom, RNZSPCA CEO.

“Animals may, in their attempts to free themselves, rip patches of fur out or break limbs. They may also defecate and urinate excessively from panic and distress.

“It gets worse. Unless animals that become stuck on glueboards are promptly killed using a humane method, they will be at increasing risk not only from injuries associated with escape attempts, but also from starvation, dehydration, exposure, possible injury through aggression from other animals, or suffocation if their muzzles become stuck in the glue,” says Mr Odom.

The ban under the Animal Welfare (Glueboard Traps) Order 2009 was announced yesterday by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and comes into effect from 1 January 2015.

“Glueboards are not an acceptable or humane way to control rodent populations. We welcome MPI’s announcement of their prohibition in New Zealand and we join with MPI in asking New Zealanders to keep an eye out for any glueboard rodent traps being used or sold in 2015. If you see any glueboard traps being sold or used, please report them to your local SPCA or MPI’s animal welfare hotline on 0800 008 333. Calls can be kept confidential if necessary.”

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Proposed caged chicken farm ‘backward step’

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Media Release - 17 November 2014


The Royal New Zealand SPCA strongly opposes the proposed Craddock Farms colony cage chicken farm in Patumahoe, South Auckland and calls on Auckland Council to refuse resource consent.

The proposed farm would confine 310,000 layer hens in colony cages. Like SPCAs in the UK, US, and Australia, the RNZSPCA opposes the use of battery and colony cages for hens.

“Colony cages confine each bird into a area about the size of a piece of A4 paper, which means it can’t exhibit its normal behaviours and can’t do much except eat and lay eggs,” says Ric Odom, RNZSPCA CEO.

“We believe the establishment of this farm is a backward step that flies in the face of current trends towards improved animal welfare in the commercial farming of animals.

“The RNZSPCA supports an increasing number of free range layer and broiler chicken farms in New Zealand with our Blue Tick accreditation programme. Farms that win the right to display our Blue Tick are assessed by our third party auditors AsureQuality, including spot checks to ensure that they are meeting our high animal welfare standards.

“The proposed Craddock Farms colony cage facility in Patumahoe would not meet these standards because the 310,000 chickens at the farm would be confined in cages.”

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SPCA Renews Calls For Fireworks Ban

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Media Release - 3 November 2014


The Royal New Zealand SPCA welcomes the select committee meeting on Guy Fawkes morning to consider banning the public sale of fireworks.

"The SPCA does not support the private sale and use of fireworks and has long called for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public," says RNZSPCA CEORic Odom.

"Fireworks and animals simply don't mix. The loud bangs and bright flashes are very frightening to animals and many become highly stressed by them."

"We urge pet owners to keep their pets inside and safe on Guy Fawkes Night. But equally we ask people without pets to be aware of the stress their use of fireworks is likely to be causing in their neighbourhood."

Here are 5 tips to help keep your pets safe and calm on Guy Fawkes Night:

1. Stay home with your pet – they will be less stressed with someone they trust close by.

2. Keep them indoors – where they won't see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Close doors and windows and draw the curtains. Turn up the volume on your radio or TV to help drown out loud bangs.

3. Put a collar and registration tag on your dog – if your dog panics and bolts, it will help rescuers reunite you. Attach a disc with your contact phone number.

4. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets – consult your vet for the best advice on keeping them calm, including sedation if necessary.

5. Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks – and make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible.


tvnzKeeping your pets safe this guy fawkes, RNZSPCA Chief Executive Rick Odom shares some tricks of the trade to calm animals during the firework season on Breakfast News 4 November 2014.

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

List of Shame 2014

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pdfList of Shame 2014


nzheraldRead what Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer of Royal New Zealand SPCA has to say about the 2014 List of Shame in The New Zealand Herald on 2 November 2014

Time to find alternatives to 1080 “weapon of mass destruction”

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Media Release - 14 October 2014


The Royal New Zealand SPCA wants an immediate plan to find a more humane alternative to the use of 1080 poison to control possums, rats, and stoats.

"1080 poisoning is a horrible way to die and it is indiscriminate in what it kills," says Ric Odom, CEO of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

"The Department of Conservation (DOC) is dropping more 1080 poison this year than ever before across huge swathes of our forests, despite the inevitable damage it will do to a wide range of 'non-target' animals and birds. We are saying there has to be a better way.

"These 1080 drops are not surgical strikes that only knock out so-called 'target' species. On the contrary, 1080 poison is a weapon of mass destruction that leads to the agonising deaths of many 'non-target' species, including deer, pigs, and, yes, native birds.

"DOC is dropping many tonnes of 1080 poison bait across New Zealand's forests and streams, potentially killing every living thing within the drop zones. This is unacceptable and there is much evidence to suggest that it is not the answer to the problem: the target species, particularly rats, always seem to bounce back, which necessitates more 1080 poison drops.

"It is simply not a sustainable way to manage wildlife in New Zealand. Are we going to keep dropping 1080 poison all over New Zealand forever? Is that the future we want?

"Moreover we appear to haveset up a double standard regarding the welfare of pest species, such as rats, stoats, and possums. The law permits the elimination of these and other inconvenient species and turns a blind eye to how inhumanely they are killed.

"Weas a country have decided there are two kinds of animals: those we care about and those we don't. If I fed 1080 poison to my dog, the SPCA would prosecute me with vigour. But if I fed the same poison to a possum there would be no repercussions at all.

"The Royal New Zealand SPCA exists to prevent cruelty to animals and promote animal welfare – and that means all animals, not just the ones we keep as pets or on our farms. Make no mistake, 1080 inflicts terrible, prolonged suffering on the animals that it poisons. We believe there must be alternative methods of pest control that do not inflict such awful suffering.

"We are not arguing against pest control. We recognise that rats, stoats, and possums pose a real threat to native bird species and must therefore be controlled in some way. What we are saying is there has to be a better way – and it's our duty as a nation to find it.

"The Royal New Zealand SPCA is standing by to work with DOC to help find more humane, more targeted, more sustainable, and more effective methods to control pest populations and protect our precious native wildlife. And we call on the Government to stump up the cash required to fund the search for these alternative methods."

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Steel Pipe Dog Beating Earns Prison Sentence

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Media Release - 13 October 2014


A Dannevirke man who beat his dog to death with a steel pipe has been sentenced to prison.

Perry Pepere Mason, 45, was today convicted in the Wairoa District Court of wilful ill treatment of an animal with the result that the animal died. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison and disqualified from owning dogs for three years.

On 12 June 2013 the Tararua District Council received two telephone calls. In the first, a member of the public reported a man in Dannevirke beating a dog with a weapon as if he was “chopping wood”. In the second phone call nine minutes later, the caller advised the council that the dog was dead.

The General Inspector from Tararua District Council drove past the property and saw a dog’s body in a sack. He reported the incident to the Police and the Dannevirke SPCA.

An SPCA Inspector visited the property. There was nobody home. The Inspector found a dead, cream-coloured dog in a sack at the back of the property. Beside the sack was a blood-stained metal pipe, 1m long and 5cm in diameter, with short cream-coloured hairs stuck in the blood.

The body of the dog and the metal pipe were removed from the property to preserve evidence. The dog was taken to a veterinary clinic for an autopsy.

The Veterinarian concluded that the dog had received more than one blow to the head and body and was alive during the beating. Death had occurred shortly after the beating due to head injuries, trauma to the chest, and severe shock from bleeding.

The catalogue of injuries suffered by the dog included multiple fractures to the head, a broken left eye socket, a broken upper jaw, severe bruising on the left side of the head and neck, and a broken right hind leg.

The Veterinarian found that the dog had suffered significant, unnecessary, and unreasonable pain and distress as a result of the beating it had received.

When questioned by Police, Mason admitted hitting the dog with the pipe but claimed he did so only once in retaliation for being bitten and “didn’t mean it”.

Mason has extensive previous criminal convictions – many of a violent nature – but has not previously been prosecuted by the SPCA for animal welfare matters.

“Due to the Defendant’s history of violent, anti-social behaviour we asked for a sentence of imprisonment to hold him properly accountable for this deliberate act of cruelty,” says Ric Odom, CEO of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

“We’re very pleased that the Judge has agreed with us and handed down a strong sentence. We can only hope that this acts as a deterrent to this kind of offending.”

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